Sustainable Living October

03 November 2020

This blog has always been about living life in a mindful and intentional way, for me this means that most of the decisions we make have been thought about carefully, even if we decide to continue as we are a decision has still been made.  When we take a product from a shelf in a shop or tap a button on a screen, should we stop and think about how it has got this point before we do so?  It can be hard to make decisions over many aspects of our lives, we are often far removed from the means of production and it can be hard to find out how this operates.  Maybe we shouldn't be thinking is there a more sustainable replacement for something, rather do we really need it at all?

To help me keep on track I have come up with some words that I will be using to keep my decision making mindful and intentional, and my life in general as sustainable as I can make it.  If you you want to join me you would be most welcome, either using the same words for inspiration or your own that are more meaningful to you.  These are the words (you can read my thoughts behind some of them here and here) that I have been using in October: 

I bought a new to me cookery book this month, one that I thought would be perfect for the autumn and winter months.  I have made several dishes from this book this month and they have all been delicious.  Some are a meal in themselves some you need to cook a little something extra, well I do here with my teenage son with hollow legs!  I love that you put everything in one dish and put it in the oven where it does its thing.  

I have been baking more this month as a result, the oven is on already so why not?  I love the smells that waft through the house when you have something baking in the oven, I have realised that I am an autumn and winter baker.  I seem to have had a lot of bananas that were in desperate need of eating up this month, getting to that almost black stage which is perfect for baking.  We have had several loaves of Banana bread and I found a delicious banana and cacao granola recipe in one of my recipe books too, each batch does not last long!

A few years ago we were given a piece of furniture by a friend who was moving house.  It is one of the few pieces of furniture we own, so much we have built into our house.  It sits in Alice's bedroom and amongst other things it houses my yarn and some of my fabric.  It was always a pain trying to find anything in there, I always want the things that are at the back!  I knew that whatever I bought would not fit the space in such a way to make the best use of it so I have long wanted to make something, I think this project has been on a list in the back of my diaries for the last three or four years!  The cardboard box that held the fabric in was slowly falling apart, I had to be really careful each time I took it out as it was in danger of falling apart completely.  I bought the outer fabric for these storage boxes, the lining was from my stash, they are also lined with a iron on interfacing which stiffens it slightly (although they collapse inwards when they are empty).  I sewed handles on to the front of the boxes to make them easier to get in and out.  I originally had the left and middle parts of the cupboard and I measure up to make boxes for those two parts.  When I came to put them in I had failed to notice that there was a post right in the middle of the middle part of the cupboard - oops!  Alice had a few bits in the right part and she has kindly taken over the middle.  As a trade off she has most of the small shelf which you can just make out in the rather dim photos (it has been really dark here this month), as I was able to put most of the stuff I had stored there into my boxes.  I am pleased with the way these have turned out and it makes it so much easier to get to my yarn and fabric now.

We were due to fly abroad at the beginning of November for a month.  We have been waiting to find out what would happen with our flights this month.  They were finally cancelled about ten days before we were due to fly.  We had already made the decision that we would not travel, even if the flights went ahead.  The cancellation meant that we were entitled to claim a refund should we want to which is what we decided to do.  The company that we booked through have been amazing, the customer service has been fantastic, I cannot fault it.  Our advisor has kept us informed with what they were doing throughout the process, even when they had no information to give us they still contacted us to let us know they were keeping an eye on things, I always felt I was in safe hands.  It would be lovely to be able to travel again at some point in the future, when that time comes we will be using this company again.

I finished my hat that I started last month it has become my new favourite.  I am still not sure about the very pale pink, I ripped out the initial colour I used (that is also in the middle) as it just did not show.  The section above this where the decreases start was rather confusing in the pattern.  A search through other projects suggested that others had gone their own way at this point so I did too.  I am not sure how I managed to knit the pattern from this point, when I thought about it too hard I made many mistakes!  There is a part of my brain that just knows when something is right but if I was to try to explain it to anyone else I would be hopeless.   The light colour of this hat was the remaining yarn from my shawl, I still have lots of it left, so I will be looking for other projects to make with it, maybe some mitts?

My garden has become pretty dormant this month.   I have not harvested a single thing.  The leeks are nearly ready to eat and I am pondering whether to leave them other the winter in the hope that they might grow a little fatter come the Spring or to eat them now.  My cabbages and broccoli are well established and will now over winter in the garden also ready for the Spring.  I really need to get into the polytunnel for a tidy up and to pot out the kale and pot choi that I have in pots as it will more than likely continue to grow over the winter and hopefully provide me with some greenery over the winter months.  I have been neglecting my garden this month!

My sunflowers waited until October to flower!  One is in the photo at the top of this post.  I have never known them to flower so late, I thought they were not going to flower at all this year.  By the beginning of last month they had finally started to grow small flower heads, I think the warm spell we had in September was just enough to give them the energy to flower.  They were a cheery sight as the temperatures started to drop.

Despite the very wet weather this month I have managed to get out at least once a week, sometimes more for a walk.  We have had a beautiful display of autumn colours this year, so often we will have a blustery storm early in October and all the leaves will be blown off the trees before they have had a chance to put on their wonderful display.  This year the storm waited until the end of the month.  There have been some days when getting out of the car or the house has felt like a rather crazy thing to do as the rain was coming down so hard, but get out we did and we have had some wonderful walks.

I have been listening to many podcasts about the election in North America, I cannot profess to fully understand how the election works but I feel that I understand more than I did at the beginning of the month.  I would like to extend my thoughts to all my North American readers as you enter into this time of election and uncertainty.  I hope that whatever the future holds it is brings with it the certainties that so many of you have been writing that you need to have in your lives as this tumultuous year draws to a close.

It was my birthday this month, I am going to post about that in a separate post, but it has been a month of celebrations for me.  I realised early on this year that my plans to have a big party were probably not going to happen, so I sent out an invitation to a handful of friends to ask them if they could spend some time with me to help me celebrate.  I have been out on walks, paddle boarding (new to me) and had some lovely phone conversations with friends who live far from me.  I have not quite managed to organise all the meet ups yet and this latest lockdown will mean that they will have to pause.  I have loved this intentional time with my friends, uninterrupted conversations with lovely people what more could I ask for?

Thank you once again for reading through this very long post,  I realise that it may seem that I do an awful lot, I suspect you do to, if you were to write it all down like I have here.  You are most welcome to join me, either use the same words or your own which mean more to you, let me know in the comments below and I will head over and have a read.  I will post my Sustainable Living November roundup on Wednesday 02 December.


  1. Happy birthday -belatedly! Hope the year is full of nourishing, sustaining things for you

  2. Love this post! I have been doing a lot of baking as well - Pinterest always tempts me with tasty treats!
    Jenna ♥
    Stay in touch? Life of an Earth Muffin

  3. Wishing you a happy belated birthday. I'm pleased that you've managed to celebrate with friends and that there's still more celebrating yet to be done, we've had to be creative this year when it comes to any celebrations with the restrictions in place. I love the hat, that's so pretty and it will go well with your new shawl too. I think you're going to need it, we've woken up to our first frost this morning.

  4. Happy birthday. I love your new hat - absolutely gorgeous. Mitts to go with it would be lovely too. I am feeling grateful for what I have got too - it is very easy to be complacent, but with lockdown looming, I am so happy with the resources I have. My garden is shutting down slowly - although I am still eating the odd raspberry every now and again and enjoying it very much.
    Have a lovely rest of the week.
    Best wishes

  5. Happy birthday to you!! beautiful beautiful hat! I love the colors and the style :) all traveling is upside down this year!

  6. Many Happy returns and a lovely long blog to read. The hat is beautiful and needed at this time of the year.

  7. Wishing you a fabulous trip around the sun! And I want to thank you for your calm, steady voice here! I love coming to sit down and relax with you in your truly beautiful corner of the world! :)

    Oh... and that hat! LOVE it!

  8. I always come away from your posts with a calm that is hard to find in life these days (we don’t understand our election this round any better than you, and only hope that it continues on it’s positive path). Do hope you have a lovely special birthday!

  9. I can almost smell all that baking! Your storage is much improved, there's nothing worse than constanty having to pull things out to get at the back. I love your hat and am glad to hear you were refunded re your flight. It sounds like you have plenty of overwintering veg, I'm thinking the same re myleeks. Belated happy birthday to you, looking forward to hearing more about your

  10. That hat is completely awesome! How weird of the sunflowers to wait until October. I put mine in really late and they just about managed a September bloom before getting storm battered. Hope you had a lovely birthday. Lulu x

  11. I am weeks behind reading blog posts.... lovely to read your sustainable living post. I had the cookery book you recently got in my hands the other day at the bookshop. I couldn't make up my mind then but I think I'll add it to my growing book wish list and see what happens. Hollow legs all around here! Teenage boys sure need a lot of calories. Happy belated Birthday. How wonderful to catch up with friends near and far. I missed having a birthday BBQ with friends this year, it is how I like to celebrate my own birthdays. Glad to hear your flights were cancelled so that you are entitled to a refund. Maybe travelling will be a possibility in a years time. Fingers crossed. Have a lovely week x


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